Increase Corn Harvest with 'Double Track’ Technology
15 May 2019
Do you know that if the family consume corn every day, then it takes about 1,200 kg of corn to meet their food needs for a year? While in fact, farmers are generally only able to produce about 300-500 kg per year. This shows how a dream of corn self-sufficiency still has to be fought for in Indonesia.
However, in East Nusa Tenggara, the bright spots began to appear with the introduction of double track technology (DT) or that has provided promising evidence for increasing corn productivity.
Tony Basuki, a facilitator who is also an agricultural researcher at the NTT Province Agricultural Technology Research Institute, said that this technique regulates nutrient competition, gas (carbon dioxide and oxygen needed by plants) and sunlight so that plants can grow optimally.
"The pattern is to plant one hole in one seed. So, when corn seeds grow, there is no competition for nutrition. In addition, corn is a plant that requires full sun," he explained to farmers in Wudipandak Village.
Moreover, the DT also regulates the distance between corn plants.
Interested in Tony's explanation, a Waturara farmer group consisting of 19 people decided to make a pilot garden. The 8-acre demonstration garden was deliberately made in the summer so the results could be immediately compared. If it works well, it can be immediately practiced in each garden when the rainy season arrives.
The group then chose the land of one of the group members namely Simon Londu Tay (42) because it had suitable criteria, including the garden was fenced and close to the source of the spring.
"Indeed, we have fear and anxiety in case the corn does not grow because this technology is still new in East Sumba. But I am still interested in trying,” Simon said.
He also explained that in general the farmers in the place planted 4 to 5 corn kernels in one hole and the yield obtained was only about 300 kg.
Starting planting in September 2018, the farmers in his group witnessed a joy. Corn grows fresh. The stem looks large and holds an average of two to three corns. However, they also get interference from animals, especially dogs, which eat young corn fruit. In December, the Waturara group managed to get around 900 kg of shelled corn from the demonstration garden.
Yields are distributed equally to all group members. While the rest is used as seeds and sold for Rp8,000 / kg.
Seeing crop yields that are twice that of the usual planting method, it makes many farmers in Wudipandak Village imitate it immediately. Simon even expanded his corn planting area to 20-25 acres.
Written by: Staff of East Sumba Area Program of Wahana Visi Indonesia
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